"A Sacred Pause"

A Grief Museletter

Muse: to reflect, contemplate, to
meditate in silence on some subject.


We are taught how to acquire things,
not what to do when we lose them.

We live in a consumer-based culture. It seems we are always trying to acquire more…more status, more success, more adventures, more relationships, more things. As if acquiring more defines who we are. As if this “more” can keep us from feeling less, keep us from feeling loss. Learning to lose things teaches us about the gifts of impermanence. It teaches us that nothing lasts forever and that tomorrow isn’t promised. So we learn to live more in the present, to appreciate the small things, to cherish each and every moment, to take nothing for granted. Learning to lose things rather than always acquiring things stretches our hearts open so we can take in all that this life has to offer. May we remember that we are not alone on this journey as we learn to let our hearts stretch open so we can hold more.


© Daria Leslea 2021 
Please feel free to share this museletter with others that you think may benefit from it.
There Is No Finish Line
There are a lot of things that have a beginning, middle, and end. Grief is not one of those things although we would like it to be. We would like for it to be another one of the tasks that we can check off of our to-do lists. We can finish reading a book, finish doing the laundry, finish eating a meal, finish a project at work. We can even start and finish a race. When we complete something there is a sense of accomplishment, a feeling of now we can move on to the next thing. We can “do” a lot of things but grief is more about “being” with our feelings and not trying to change them, fix them, or distract ourselves from them. In grief, there is no sense of accomplishment or moving on to the next thing because our loss, our grief, is the “thing.” This is where we learn that we don’t heal feelings but that feelings heal us…when we let them. Sometimes it can feel like our culture views grief as having a finish line because of some of the mixed messages that we receive. We may hear things like: “Aren’t you over that yet?”; “You need to move on.”; or “You need to put that behind you.” It can feel like there is something we can do to “get over” our grief or that there is somewhere to go where our grief is not. In grief, we learn that we don’t get to take our place at the starting line and move into position as we wait for the words, “on your mark, get set, go.” Many times we find ourselves signed up for this event without warning and without our consent. We don’t have time to prepare and no plans for where we might be going or how long this “race” may last. This grief journey is anything but a well-mapped-out course. There are no defined lines that keep us in our own lane and show us which way to go. There are no crowds looking on and marking our progress. There will be no racing over a finish line with our arms triumphantly raised above our heads as we hear the roar of the crowd and we won’t even receive a medal for participating. Instead, as the dust begins to settle and some of the shock begins to wear off we may look around and wonder how we got here. Rather than seeing a distinct beginning or a clear destination, we will feel lost and disoriented. In place of the words, “on your mark, get set, go,” we may hear a deafening silence. A silence that lets us know we are going to be here for a while as this process will continually challenge us as it transforms us for the rest of our lives. This process shows us that there is no finish line to grief but grief will give us opportunities. Opportunities to feel all of our emotions rather than just those that we deem acceptable. Opportunities to find meaning even in the most difficult of circumstances. Opportunities to learn about our own strength and our vulnerability. Opportunities to learn to wait for the light even in the darkest of times or what is more commonly known as hope. Opportunities to learn trust the process since we don’t always need to know where we are going as there is no “grief map.” Opportunities to love more deeply and in learning to love more deeply we come to truly understand that there is no finish line to grief. There is no end because love never ends.

The Written Word

There are many ways to express our grief and putting our thoughts, feelings, and ideas on paper can be a very healing process. The suggested prompts here can be done one time or multiple times. I’ve learned it helps to set a timer for 10-15 minutes and keep your pen moving for the entire time. I encourage using pen and paper rather than a keyboard as there is a hand/heart connection when writing longhand. Don’t worry about spelling, punctuation, or grammar, just write. When the timer goes off you stop writing even if you are in mid-sentence. Don’t reread your work at this time. Just set it aside for a couple of weeks and then go back and see what your words may have to say to you.

(If you choose to use a keyboard the same instructions apply).


Try this writing prompt:

What opportunities has grief given you?


I will list some books, articles, poems, movies, or other resources that I as well as others have found helpful on this grief journey. I hope these resources may deepen your understanding of grief, maybe bring you some sense of comfort, and help you to feel less alone in your grief. 



Photo by Jason Robb

Photo By: Jason Robb

I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness and the willingness to remain vulnerable. ~Lindbergh

If we don’t feel our feelings all the way through, they never leave us, and then we do all kinds of unusual things to get out from under them. I’ve diverted myself many times by becoming involved in what surrounds my pain or sadness, while never feeling the thing itself. So, when someone asks me how I feel, I wind up retelling the circumstance of the pain, but not feeling it. Or anticipating reactions, but not feeling what is mine to feel. Or swimming in the anger of injustice, but not diving through the wound.
Though we fear it, feeling our feelings is the only clear and direct way to free our hearts of pain.

In loving memory of my son Jason.